Man taken into custody after rescue operation in tunnel under 105 Fwy in Hawthorne

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A man surrendered to authorities Monday afternoon after previously yelling for help and saying he was trapped inside a tunnel below the 105 Freeway in Hawthorne. (KABC)

A man surrendered to authorities Monday afternoon after previously yelling for help and saying he was trapped inside a tunnel below the 105 Freeway in Hawthorne, officials said.

Firefighters initially responded to a small grass fire about 11 a.m. in the area of 111th Street and Hawthorne Boulevard, where they heard a cry for help coming from underneath a grate, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The firefighters tried to access the area, then launched a confined-space rescue operation after the voice became more distant, officials said.

Caltrans and county Department of Public Works personnel were called to the scene, as were sheriff's Special Enforcement Bureau deputies after the man allegedly refused to exit the tunnel.

"He said he was going to come out, so they were waiting to get the grate open, so we had both sides (of the tunnel) contained," sheriff's Sgt. Bradley Scheffield said. "I believe after they got it open, he changed his mind and he ran back north. But we had people waiting on this side."

More than two hours after the incident began, the unidentified man exited the confined space and was taken into custody by California Highway Patrol officers.

Asked why he had gone into the tunnel, the man told ABC7 that he had heard a woman screaming and was searching for her. He did not appear to be injured.

The man was placed in an ambulance and transported away from the scene. Authorities said his mental condition was being evaluated.

Related Topics:
newsrescuesearch and rescuefirefighterslos angeles county sheriff's departmentHawthorneLos Angeles County
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